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08/17/2009 A Morning with the Master


I had the good fortune to hear Avinash Kaushik last week at Epik One's Seminars for Success Summit. I read Avinash's book a number of years ago and follow him on his blog and Twitter. But he's way better in person.

He spent the morning talking about Multi Channel Analysis and the main thrust of his presentation was the challenge of giving credit where credit is due. Offline guys don't get online and don't give it any credit for driving bricks and mortar business. Online guys turn their noses up at offline, and don't give traditional any credit at driving online sales. The reality is that it's one ecosystem; that, to quote Dave Hughes, it's all Non-Line Marketing.

Avinash-kaushik-analytics

Avinash talked about a number of tactics to use to validate the effect of one 'line to the other 'line. Old things like 800 numbers, coupon codes and vanity URLs (hello direct marketing!). But he also talked about looking beyond the expected Web metrics and looking three to four layers below what you normally look at. And to extend this past the campaign to see residual effect of traditional channels like radio TV and print.

He talked about some smart ideas like measuring the value of store locator results pages and online catalog requests. He pointed out new services to track phone calls and live chat.

Most importantly, he talked about tying online data with offline data. Or, as he put it succinctly, "If you don't have a CRM tool, you're screwed!"

Ah, now we come to the crux of the problem. I've worked with some big companies who didn't even come close to having a CRM tool. They had no idea how to value or measure anything except the sales channel; was it up or down? There was no discussion about lifetime valuation of a customer and no tools to measure, over time, the true value of outreach.

As marketers, we normally don't do a good job of showing our value. We need to do a better job of explaining and taking the time to connect the dots for clients: Showing them what we do, and bringing that back to their business. When times are good, we feel that marketing works. When times are tough, we have to fight for every penny.

Avinash gave me some great ideas to think about; ideas I'll incorporate into some of my clients marketing programs. What I didn't get was what to do about companies who find implementing a proper CRM tool daunting or a waste of money.

I wish there were as easy a solution as Google Analytics.

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